We were quite disappointed when we heard at CeBIT that Ford SYNC technology would not be rolled out here until 2012 but an announcement today means when it does arrive, it will have another new feature.
Ford has announced that the 2012 Ford Focus will be transformed into a rolling WiFi hotspot when Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch technology rolls out next year. By using an owners’ existing USB modem or smartphone, the SYNC-equipped Focus will be able to deliver a secure wireless connection that can be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Up to five wireless enabled devices will be able to connect to this rolling hotspot at any one time. While wireless access like this has been on offer in-car before this, previously the feature was only available in much higher-priced models.
The WiFi system will be able to keep up with future improvements and changes in technology and allow customers to make use of a variety of USB devices, eliminating the need to purchase specifically compatible equipment. SYNC will use software updates to ensure it remains compatible with the latest hardware and devices, so customers can be sure that their SYNC-equipped vehicles will always allow them to make use of whatever USB mobile broadband modem or smartphone they are using – even devices that have yet to go on the market. Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer for electronic and electrical systems said: “We knew from the beginning that our connectivity solution would have to keep pace with the rapid advancement of consumer electronics and be flexible and upgradeable in order to remain useful to customers for as long as they own their vehicles.”
We are still waiting to hear exactly when the SYNC system will launch in the Focus in the UK but Ford has told us it will be rolling out the WiFi feature to more models later in the year. With all this technology being offered in lower-end cars it should hopefully lead to other manufacturers following suit.